IELTS Academic or Duolingo English Test: How Do They Compare?

Jun 11, 2020
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The Importance of English Language Proficiency

As globalization continues to connect people from different parts of the world, proficiency in the English language has become crucial for individuals and organizations alike. Whether you are planning to study abroad, immigrate to an English-speaking country, or enhance your job prospects, demonstrating your English language skills is often a requirement.

Choosing the Right English Proficiency Test

When it comes to proving your English proficiency, two popular examinations are the IELTS Academic and the Duolingo English Test. Each test has its own advantages and considerations, catering to different needs and circumstances. In this article, we aim to provide you with a detailed comparison to help you make an informed decision.

The IELTS Academic Test

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) has been widely recognized and accepted by academic institutions, employers, and immigration authorities across the globe. The IELTS Academic test assesses your proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.

Format and Scoring

The IELTS Academic test consists of four components:

  • Listening: The listening section evaluates your ability to understand spoken English through various audio recordings.
  • Reading: The reading section assesses your reading comprehension skills by presenting you with academic texts and questions.
  • Writing: The writing section measures your ability to express your thoughts in a clear and organized manner through two tasks.
  • Speaking: The speaking section evaluates your spoken English skills through face-to-face interviews with an examiner.

The scoring for the IELTS Academic test ranges from 0 to 9, with bands representing different levels of proficiency.

Preparation for the IELTS Academic Test

Preparing for the IELTS Academic test involves familiarizing yourself with the test format, practicing sample questions, and improving your language skills through extensive reading and listening exercises. Taking preparatory courses offered by language schools, like Los Angeles Spanish School, can greatly enhance your chances of achieving a desirable score.

Validity and Recognition

The IELTS Academic test is recognized and accepted by over 10,000 organizations worldwide, including universities, employers, and immigration authorities. The results are valid for two years from the date of the test.

The Duolingo English Test

The Duolingo English Test is a relatively newer option that has gained popularity, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, due to its accessibility and convenience for online test-takers.

Format and Scoring

The Duolingo English Test evaluates your English language skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking, similar to the IELTS Academic test. However, it is administered entirely online.

The test format includes a combination of multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, and speaking responses. The Duolingo English Test converts your overall performance into a score out of 160.

Preparation for the Duolingo English Test

Preparing for the Duolingo English Test can be done through online resources offered by Duolingo, such as practice tests and sample questions. Additionally, improving your language skills by engaging in regular English conversations, reading English texts, and watching English videos can be beneficial.

Validity and Recognition

The Duolingo English Test is recognized and accepted by several academic institutions and organizations. However, it is important to verify if your specific institution or organization recognizes this test as a valid proof of English proficiency.

Which Test Should You Choose?

Choosing between the IELTS Academic and the Duolingo English Test depends on various factors, including your specific requirements, the institution's or organization's recognition, convenience, and personal preferences.

If you are planning to apply to universities or organizations that primarily accept the IELTS Academic test, it might be the better option for you. On the other hand, if you are seeking a more flexible and accessible online test, the Duolingo English Test could be a suitable choice.

Conclusion

In conclusion, both the IELTS Academic and Duolingo English Test have their own merits and cater to different needs. The IELTS Academic test is widely recognized and accepted globally, while the Duolingo English Test offers convenience and accessibility. Consider your goals, requirements, and the recognition of these tests by your intended institutions or organizations before making a decision.

For comprehensive English language training and preparation, Los Angeles Spanish School offers courses and resources to help you succeed in either test. Contact us today to start your journey towards English language proficiency.

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